CRLC IS HIRING PART-TIME STAFF POSITION
Part-time Staff Position – Land Stewardship and Outreach Specialist
(Jan thru Dec 2017; 15-20 hours per week; $20-25 per hour)
Capital Region Land Conservancy is seeking a part-time Land Stewardship and Outreach Specialist to assist with its efforts to coordinate with land owners in the Richmond Region. The individual will be well organized and able to manage projects with short- and long- lead schedules. The individual must have experience as a project manager, copywriting and editing, as well as have excellent communication (oral and written) and presentation skills. The individual shall be self-motivated and able to work independently.
In addition to drafting newsletters and mailings, the Land Stewardship and Outreach Specialist will maintain county mailing lists for landowners and coordinate with partner organizations to host events throughout the area. The individual will also assist with the maintenance of stewardship files.
Requirements: Working knowledge of MS Office (Word, Excel, Power Point, etc.), Adobe Illustrator, web design and online content production.
Send resume and cover letter to Parker Agelasto at PO Box 17306, Richmond VA 23226 or email@example.com. Applications must be received before January 13.
CRLC RECEIVES $25,000 Gift FROM DOMINION RESOURCS
Capital Region Land Conservancy (CRLC) has been awarded $25,000 through a competitive grant from the Dominion Foundation, the charitable arm of Dominion Resources. Each year Dominion awards up to $1 million through the foundation’s Environmental Stewardship Grants Program for initiatives that focus on specific, short-term projects that promise measurable results to improve the environment. CRLC’s project, “Protecting our Beloved James River,” was one of 67 projects from nonprofit organizations in 12 states to receive funding through the program in 2016.
Funding for “Protecting our Beloved James River” allows Capital Region Land Conservancy to provide stakeholder education by working with local government and private property owners on a vision map. The grant also supports the facilitation of the process to place voluntary conservation easements on parcels immediately adjacent to the James River. Of the 1,484 parcels in the project area, only 34 parcels covering 5,922 acres are currently protected in perpetuity.
“It’s very rewarding to support the efforts of the Capital Region Land Conservancy to protect and conserve the regional jewel that is the James River for future generations,” said Hunter A. Applewhite, president of the Dominion Foundation. “Their efforts align well with our mission to conserve and promote the health and beauty of the environment in the places we call home.”
In 2012, Richmond was named "Best River Town in America" and the Capital Region Collaborative identified the James River as one of seven priority areas that will enhance the quality of life for everyone in the region. Envision the James has identified land conservation as one of the most important initiatives to protect this regional asset. Adding additional acreage under conservation easement will also help to ensure that our region satisfies the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) requirements under the U.S. Clean Water Act.
“The James River is such a defining feature of RVA and is a vital asset to our region that we must ensure its long-term benefit for future generations” said CRLC’s Executive Director Parker Agelasto. “Preserving adjacent lands will allow for its natural beauty to inspire and improve water quality by protecting natural filtration for run-off.”
“For 10 years, CRLC has been working to protect lands in the Richmond area with great success at improving public access to the river including the James River Park System in the City of Richmond, Brown & Williamson Conservation Area and James River Conservation Area in Chesterfield County” said CRLC President Bill Greenleaf. “We are honored to have the opportunity to partner with Dominion and expand this effort to into Charles City, Goochland, Henrico, and Powhatan counties.”
New Century Farms recognized by Gov. Terry McAuliffe
Governor Terry McAuliffe recently hosted families from the Richmond region for a reception at the Executive Mansion during which he recognized twelve new Century Farms including ten from Powhatan County. Also at the event, Gov. McAuliffe signed legislation passed during the 2016 General Assembly creating a Century Forest Program similar to the farm program.
The Virginia Century Farm program recognizes and honors farms that have been in operation for at least 100 consecutive years and the generations of Virginia farm families whose diligent and dedicated efforts have maintained those farms. Prior to the event, the Richmond region included 51 Century Farm designated properties. Efforts leading up to the event increased this number by more than 24%. Five more applicants submitted after.
Those farm families recognized by Governor McAuliffe include from Powhatan County - John Amos (Midway Farm), Doug Brush and Evelyn Saunders (Blenheim Farm), Robert and James Cosby (Oakview Farm), Wilson DeNoon (Trenholm Farm), Constance K. Harriss (Norwood Farm), Ernie Hobson (Eagle Nest Farm), Gene and Shirley Moyer (Edgehill Farm), Myrtle Moore Osborne (Moore Farm), Tim and Anne Timberlake (Blenheim Springs / Oaksprings Farm), and Kenny Weisiger (Pineview Farm), from Goochland County – Ronald and Cheryl Nuckols (Overhome Farm), and from Hanover County – Natalie Schermerhorn (Hill Brook Farm).
“I congratulate the newly designated Century Farms that the Governor, First Lady and I were able to recognize at the Executive Mansion,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore. “These long-standing farm families, as well as the 1,352 other Century Farm families across Virginia, all share a common bond – the proud and enduring tradition of agriculture, the Commonwealth’s largest private industry. Agriculture, from these family farms to value-added processing and manufacturing, is a key component of the Governor’s call to build a new Virginia economy. I look forward to seeing more farms garner the Century Farm designation and help grow our economy even further.”
“These farms have attained a milestone for agriculture and set the standard for preservation of rural heritage in Powhatan,” said Powhatan County Farm Bureau President Max Timberlake. “These farm families are a real inspiration to Powhatan’s agricultural community.”
Capital Region Land Conservancy Executive Director Parker Agelasto said “The Century Farm Program is a wonderful way to honor the legacy of resilient families that have worked the land for many generations. Conservation easements are tools that these property owners can use to plan for future generations to contribute and carry on their history by preserving the land for agricultural or forestry uses.”
The event would not have been possible without support and contributions from Secretary Haymore, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia Forestry Association, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, and Capital Region Land Conservancy.
For more information on Virginia’s Century Farm program, visit vdacs.virginia.gov/conservation-and-environmental-virginia-century-farms.shtml or contact Andy Sorrell, Program Coordinator, at 804-786-1906.
US Congress strongly supports Land Conservation
On December 18, the US Senate voted 65-33 to pass the bill that will make the federal tax incentive for conservation easement donations permanent. This follows the House of Representatives 318-109 vote on December 17. This bipartisan action represents a huge win for conservation, for landowners and for the land trust community. Once signed into law the incentive will be applied retroactively to start Jan. 1, 2015. The full language of these permanent incentives can be found in Section § 170(b)(1)(E) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 under “qualified conservation contributions” made by individuals.
Congress also reauthorized the Land and Water Conservation Fund for three years and increased its funding from $306 million last year to $450 million this year. This follows the omnibus bill that authorized more than $10 million to support land conservation activities for Rivers of the Chesapeake.
Both legislative items are important to Capital Region Land Conservancy's ability to protect and conserve the natural and historic resources of the Richmond area. We are thrilled that both initiatives passed by a 2/3 majority.
You can also ensure land conservation in the Richmond region by supporting your local land trust, Capital Region Land Conservancy. CRLC has many exciting plans to expand our efforts in 2016 but need your financial investment to build capacity to reach these ambitious goals. Please consider making a contribution today.
Lunch and Learn: Land & Farm Conservation Resources for Landowners
RICHMOND, VA: The Capital Region Land Conservancy (CRLC), Monacan Soil and Water Conservation District and the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service invite the public to attend a “Lunch and Learn” program on Friday, January 29, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, at the Powhatan Rescue Squad (3920 Marion Harland Lane, Powhatan VA 23139). This event brings together a number of organizations that help landowners steward and protect their land, forests and working farms through voluntary programs such as conservation easements and cost-share programs. Representatives will be available from the Capital Region Land Conservancy, Colonial Farm Credit, Monacan Soil and Water Conservation District, US Department of Agriculture – Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia Farm Bureau, and Virginia Outdoor Foundation.
“Lunch and Learn” will feature presentations on such topics as easements and associated tax benefits, cost-share conservation opportunities, planning for farm succession, and updates on legislation and events from Farm Bureau. Lunch is being provided courtesy of Colonial Farm Credit.
Registration is required. Fee is $5 by check made payable to the Monacan Soil and Water Conservation District and may be mailed to P.O. Box 66 Goochland, VA 23063 or delivered to Monacan SWCD at 3064 River Road West in Goochland. Register by January 22 by calling (804) 556-4936. Inclement weather date is Friday, February 5.
For those interested in learning more specifically about conservation easements and reasons to consider an easement on their property, what the steps are in the process, and potential benefits, CRLC is also hosting two additional workshops: one on Tuesday, February 16, beginning at 6:00pm in the Luck Stone Headquarters at 515 Stone Mill Drive, Manakin-Sabot VA 23103; the second on Tuesday, February 23, beginning at 6:00pm in the Chesterfield County Ettrick-Matoaca Public Library at 4501 River Road, South Chesterfield, VA 23803. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Jane Myers at (804)745-3110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CRLC Announces New Executive Director
The Capital Region Land Conservancy Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Parker C. Agelasto as Executive Director effective September 20. The Board recognizes that Agelasto is a community leader with non-profit management experience who can advance the mission of CRLC and grow capacity to better serve the region’s needs to protect and conserve its natural and historic resources.
Celebrating its 10th Anniversary, CRLC has facilitated the protection of over 6,800 acres of property and co-holds 9 conservation easements with more than 1,200 acres. These include the 280-acre James River Park in the City of Richmond and over 100 acres in Chesterfield County for the use as the future Atkins Acres Community Park. CRLC service area includes roughly 1.3 million acres of which 16,500 of privately owned land are currently protected.
Land conservation benefits the region’s water quality by providing natural filters for surface and groundwater sources and works to lower the cost of water treatment plants. CRLC has therefore launched the “Our Land and Water” project to develop a strategic conservation plan to protect the Middle James River Watershed with a focus in Goochland and Powhatan Counties.
“CRLC is excited to have hired Parker Agelasto,” said Bill Greenleaf, President. “He shares our vision to develop a regional strategic plan that addresses the need to be better stewards of our land and water resources for current and future generations.”
Agelasto says of his new position, “For the past decade CRLC has been steadfast in promoting the importance of land conservation in the Richmond region. I am honored to have the opportunity to lead CRLC as it moves into its next decade, implementing its new strategic plan, continuing to engage our communities and fostering collaborative partnerships, and growing CRLC's membership and fundraising efforts.”
CRLC will host its Tenth Anniversary Celebration on Sunday, October 25, from 4:00 to 6:30 pm at Tuckahoe Plantation (12601 River Road in Goochland, VA). There is a $25 suggested donation to attend.
Parker C. Agelasto received his undergraduate education from Bates College and masters degrees from the University of Virginia. He currently serves on Richmond City Council.
Conservation Organizations Merge to Better Protect Richmond Region’s Natural Resources
RICHMOND, VA: The Friends of Chesterfield’s Riverfront (FoCR) has merged with Capital Region Land Conservancy (CRLC), which will carry on the work of both organizations by stewarding the lands previously protected by FoCR.
The Boards of Directors of the two organizations recognized the enhanced impact a stronger, more sustainable land trust could have for our region. Initial discussions about a merger began in late 2013. Legal due diligence was conducted in early 2014 and the merger decision was formally made in late March, 2014. There was overwhelming support for combining the organizations as the leadership of both organizations unanimously voted to form a combined nonprofit organization. Troutman Sanders LLP provided pro bono legal services for due diligence and document preparation for the merger.
“Combining complementary resources and strategically addressing conservation challenges as one organization ensures that their shared goals can be achieved,” said FoCR Director, Mark Endries. “The merger makes sure that with the Capital Region Land Conservancy, one local land trust grows and thrives in Chesterfield as well as the larger Richmond Region - maintaining a strong, unified and visible presence working for the conservation of our lands and waters.”
As part of the merger, conservation easements held by FoCR will be assigned to CRLC. The restrictions, land use limitations, and reserved rights listed in each easement will remain unchanged. Lands under stewardship of both organizations will remain protected in perpetuity. FoCR co-held two conservation easements: Brown & Williamson Conservation Area and Little Rivers Bend, totaling over 280 acres. CRLC currently co-holds six conservation easements around the region; following the merger, it surpasses the 1,000-acre stewardship mark and now co-holds over 1,200 acres.
“We expect the combined organization will be able to do even more conservation and stewardship … and do them better,” said CRLC Executive Director, Tara Quinn. “This combined strength promises to create an unprecedented force to accomplish our mission to conserve and protect our region’s land and water resources.”
Henrico Gets New Tool for Saving Small Farms as
Henricopolis Soil & Water Conservation District signs first Conservation Easement
For nearly a decade, 4th-generation Varina landowner Virginia Lipford has been seeking help protecting her nearly 10 acre family farm with a conservation easement. In November, that dream finally came true. Thanks to a new partnership between the Capital Region Land Conservancy and the Henricopolis Soil & Water Conservation District to co-hold conservation easements, small-acreage land owners now have the chance to preserve their properties as well.
Most conservation easements in Virginia involve properties with 75 acres or more, but this partnership means people in Henrico County seeking to preserve a 50 acre farm, or 25 acres of forest, or 10, have equal access to this opportunity.